There’s a constant stream of new apps hitting the Android and iOS stores that help us get more and more from our smartphones. These are some of our favourites from the last few weeks. If you’ve found a new app that you love, tell us about it in the comments at the bottom of the page.
Free on Android and iOS
If you want to keep a comprehensive backup of all your photos, you’re going to love Google Photos as much as we do. The app lets you store full-res pictures (up to 16MP in size) in the cloud for free so you can view and edit them from any device.
Everything works automatically once you’re signed up. So whether you take a new photo on your mobile or put DSLR pics on your computer, Google will back them up for you.
Of course, with so many photos in one place, finding ones you want in future could be a problem. That’s why Google Photos has a search button. Type in a word like ‘sunset’ and you’ll be shown all your photos of sunsets.
There are also loads of handy ways that Google Photos can organise your shots for easy access. It groups them by date, so you can go back to a specific holiday easily, but it can also create stories of big events. They’re kind of like digital photo albums and are a really nice way to share memories.
Word (Android, iOS), Excel (Android, iOS) and PowerPoint (Android, iOS) are all free
Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint are now optimised for smartphones. We’re not sure what more needs to be said, we all know what Microsoft’s software does.
It’s really handy having the official Microsoft apps as it means all your edits and formatting will stay put when you switch between your computer and your phone
Free on Android and iOS
MixRadio has been one of our favourite music streaming services for years, and now it’s broken its Nokia exclusivity and is free to download on Android and iOS.
The reason we like it so much is that it’s completely free and serves up customised playlists based on the bands and songs you like. Because it doesn’t stick to a list of artists you’ve selected, it’s a really good music discovery tool.
One of its big advantages over other free music streaming apps is that you can save music to listen to offline. You can create your own playlists (if you don’t want to stick with MixRadio’s random suggestions) and save up to four of them to your phone.
As it’s a free app, you are restricted to only six skips an hour, but we find it’s really good at giving music we love so rarely need to skip. There are also adverts breaking up your playlists, but they’re so rare and short that you don’t really notice them.